Are you planning a domestic or international vacation and are on the hunt for the cheapest air tickets? These low-cost airlines promise to help you stick to your vacation budget. They might not treat you like royalty but will ensure that flight tickets do not eat up a major chunk of your vacation budget. Here is all you need to know about budget airlines and how to book the cheapest tickets with them. Read on.
What are budget airlines?
Budget airlines are no-frill airlines that offer ticket prices much lower than those of other carriers and so suit budget travellers perfectly. These airlines provide fewer comforts than the others, charge extra for baggage and on-board meals and seat selections. There are numerous budget airlines across the world and five domestic ones.
Budget airlines in India
1. Air India Express: Operated by Air India Express Limited (AIEL), an Air India subsidiary, Air India Express runs over 500 flights every week to 30 destinations including the Middle East and Southeast Asia. On the domestic front, the airline operates around 200 flights per week, from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra.
2. AirAsia India: Headquartered in Bengaluru, AirAsia India was the first foreign airline to establish a subsidiary in India. This budget airline operates over 100 flights every day to 21 destinations including cities and states such as Manipur, Jharkhand, Goa and Assam.
3. GoAir: GoAir is a Mumbai-based budget airline owned by the Wadia Group. This low-cost airline is one of the leading airlines in India in terms of market share. GoAir operates 140 plus flights every day and over 900 every week to 23 cities, mainly from its hubs Delhi and Mumbai.
4. IndiGo: This Gurgaon-based budget airline is the largest in India with almost a 40% market share at end-February 2018. IndiGo, which has its hub at Delhi, operates to 50 domestic and international destinations. The airline operates over 1,000 flights to around 50 destinations with international services to Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah, Doha, Singapore, Bangkok and Kathmandu. 5. SpiceJet: A leading airline in India based on the number of domestic passengers, SpiceJet operates over 300 flights daily to over 50 destinations, both domestic and international, from its hubs in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. On the international front, it operates flights from Chennai to Colombo and Delhi to Kathmandu.
If you are curious to know which international budget airlines you must keep an eye on for cheap air tickets, here is the list. Although this list does not cover all the budget airlines in the world, they are those which connect India to another country/countries or can be useful if you are planning to travel to multiple countries on your next vacation. Take a look.
Popular international budget airlines
1. Southwest Airlines Co.: Southwest Airlines is the largest North American budget airline with over 4,000 daily departures during peak travel season. It has scheduled services to 100 destinations in the US and 10 other countries. This low-cost airline has over 200 daily departures from Chicago, Washington, Las Vegas and Denver. So, if you are planning a multi-city trip to the US, this is an airline you need to keep your eyes on. 2. Scoot: Scoot Tigerair Pte Ltd. or Scoot, owned by Singapore Airlines, flies to 66 locations across 18 countries. Scoot has regular departures from around 10 Indian cities including Amritsar, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Chennai. Through Scoot, you can fly to multiple cities in most Asian countries such as Indonesia, China, Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, among others, and to Australia. 3. Ryanair: Calling everyone planning a multi-country trip to Europe. Irish low-cost airline Ryanair connects 34 countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Ryanair serves major airports, including Amsterdam, Barcelona El Prat, Copenhagen, Athens, Brussels Zaventem, Budapest, Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London-Gatwick, among others. 4. AirAsia: This Malaysian budget airline operates domestic and international flights to over 165 destinations across 25 countries. AirAsia has won several awards in the airline arena and has often been described as the world’s best low-cost carrier. It regularly operates flights from Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Goa, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, among other Indian cities. It connects India to most Asian destinations such as Thailand, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, among others, and Australia. 5. EasyJet: Probably Ryanair’s biggest competitor, this British budget airline operates domestic and international flights on over 800 routes, across over 30 countries (more than 130 destinations). Just like Ryanair, EasyJet’s fleet is not very old – just over 6 years on an average. So, expect swanky aircrafts when you travel through these budget airlines.
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